Many common plants are hazardous to the health of house pets. In fact, some of the most common ones found at your local nursery can be toxic or even deadly to pets if ingested, causing symptoms like seizures, stroke, and organ failure. If you are a plant-lover as well as a pet-lover, this may put a damper on your joy. Here are some great, pet-friendly indoor plants to bring a bit of green back into your space.
Rattlesnake Plant- Calathea lancifola
The rattlesnake plant is a visually pleasing plant with pale green and dark green stripping on the top of the leaves, with bright purple on the underside. This plant does well in low lighting and does not require a lot of maintenance. Rattlesnake plants only need to be watered when the topsoil feels dry and prefer loose soil that drains well.
Spider Plant- Chlorophytum comosum
The spider plant is one of the most resilient and low-maintenance plants you can find. They act as air purifiers and flourish in bright, indirect light with moderately moist soil. Take care to transfer the plant to larger pots as it grows because they quickly become rootbound. Spider plants can be nibbled on safely by your feline friends without having to worry about a trip to the emergency vet clinic.
Ponytail Palm- Beaucarnea recurvata
This frilly palm is as low-maintenance as it comes, and its fronds make for an excellent kitty distraction. These small palms only need to be fertilized two to four times a year and prefer a drier soil.
Not all succulents are pet-safe, but if you just can’t resist these lovely tiny plants, make sure you purchase non-toxic species like Haworthia or Echeveria. Succulents prefer direct sunlight and light watering every two to three weeks with loose soil that drains well. Do not overwater your succulents, as excess water may cause rot and yellowing of the leaves.
Boston Fern- Nephrolepsis exaltata
The Boston Fern only requires food about every two months and prefers indirect lighting and a high-humidity environment. Give the plant a light misting a few times a week to keep your fern happy and keep the soil damp. This plant is safe for both cats and dogs.
Polka Dot Plant- Hypoestes phyllostachya
These colorful plants are native to Madagascar but will look lovely on your bookshelf! The Polka Dot prefers bright, indirect lighting and moderately damp soil.
Money Tree- Pachira aquatica
This pet-friendly tree prefers damp soil but requires soil that drains well. Keep your Money Tree in indirect lighting and turn the plant with each watering. Water this plant once or twice a week, depending on humidity levels, and fertilize three or four times a year.
This list is by no means comprehensive; instead, a shortlist to inspire your inner plantsman. Ask your veterinarian, your friendly local botanist, or plant nursery worker for more recommendations.